eCommerce professionals not only need a well-rounded understanding of business operations – they also need to know how to monitor day-to-day site activity and performance including promotion, updates and user experience. Part of the recipe for a successful eCommerce operation is an exceptional eCommerce platform.
We’re breaking down the seven best eCommerce platforms for your business, whether you’re launching a startup, brick and mortar or a larger business. Read on to discover the best eCommerce solution for your business goals.
The 7 Top eCommerce Platforms
BigCommerce is your one-stop-shop for building, running and growing an online business. This platform offers inventory management tools and lets you personalize the shopping experience for specific customer groups. You can drive more online traffic with SEO strategies and use a Page Builder tool to help convert more sales. Plus BigCommerce has a 24/7 support team and a community forum for webinars, tutorials and guides.
Shopify has all the point-of-sale features needed to start a business and make it grow. Whether you have a new concept, are wanting to turn a brick and mortar into an online store or switch to this online platform, Shopify has the capabilities. The platform lets you customize where you sell your goods or services, whether it’s through a blog, social media, in-person retail or online. Choose from over 70 themes and custom domains and learn how to market your business – all in one convenient place.
Magento Commerce is an excellent platform for small to medium businesses with established demand. You can use the tool to build your site, customize user experience, create an online store and ship inventory, manage quotes and monitor data insights. If you have specialized needs for your business, you can use Magento for Amazon sales and cloud delivery. Magento is an excellent eCommerce solution if you work in the fashion, food & beverage, health & beauty or automotive industries.
Cost: Pricing based on annual Gross Merchandise Value and Average Order Value
Wix is a website builder that is most effective for people or companies selling a few key products. The platform allows you to create, design, manage and develop your web presence custom to your goals. It’s based on templates and you can choose from over 500, or you can have your site designed for you by the Wix team. It allows you to optimize for SEO, edit your view for mobile and add advanced features like a blog or online store. Create your own logo, custom domain, emails, social media posts and videos, all through one platform. Wix’s key selling point is it’s easy to use – perfect for someone new to web design and eCommerce.
- Basic web plans vary based on user need, from $5/month USD to $29/month USD
- Business and eCommerce plans vary based on business goal, from $20/month USD to $35/month USD
WooCommerce is a free, open-source WordPress plugin that lets you sell goods online. It’s easily customizable, allowing you to arrange secure payments, configurable shipping options and more. WooCommerce offers thousands of themes and extensions as well as custom discount/coupon code capabilities, geo-location support, catalogue/inventory management and SEO. You can choose to build a WordPress site with WooCommerce or extend your current online store as needed. This is a great option if you’re on a budget and looking for a platform that’s easy to use.
Cost: Free to download, including extensions and add-ons
Squarespace is an easy-to-use website and eCommerce store building platform. It’s more suited to small business owners who don’t require complex eCommerce capabilities. Squarespace lets you build your site from a bank of templates, colour palettes, tools and extensions as well as craft email campaigns. Squarespace’s home site also offers helpful resources for users wanting to learn how to write a blog or create a successful email marketing campaign to promote their new site. This platform is an excellent option for people who want to customize their site easily and use it for simple transactions.
Cost: Website plans vary based on user need, ranging from $12/month USD to $40/month USD
(Squarespace also charges a 3% transaction fee on sales in their Business plan)
Volusion is another eCommerce platform centred around easy-to-customize code-free templates. You can easily manage inventory, collect payments and add apps and integrations like PayPal and Amazon. Volusion also has built-in SEO management, newsletters and a CRM system to help you market your business and reach more customers. The platform also has a 24/7 support team available to answer your questions and help with your website building. Volusion boasts easy selling with responsive themes, custom domains, secure checkout, various shipping options and vendor codes, among other features that will set you up to sell successfully.
Looking to do a platform comparison? This article has an in-depth comparison of five eCommerce platforms, including their pros and cons.
How do I choose an eCommerce platform?
While we highlighted some of the best eCommerce platforms, there are plenty more at your disposal than what’s on this list. So how do you choose the right platform for your business?
Here are some things to consider:
- Your business objective. Are you trying to open a small business, a startup, brick and mortar or something larger? Maybe you just want a place to host your blog? Your site objective is going to play a part in which platform you choose, as some are more suited for certain business goals than others.
- The platform functions. Think about what you need the platform to do. Are you in need of an online catalogue? Is search engine optimization a key priority for you? Or do you need a platform that allows you to customize payment or shipping options? Make a list of the most important functions you need for your site and use that as a benchmark when selecting your platform.
- Your budget. Price is a consideration just as much as anything else. If you’re on a tight budget, you may be better off looking for a free platform. If you have some budget to work with, you may opt for a platform with more custom capabilities and extensive integrations.
- Your skill-level. If you’ve never built an online store or have never worked in a web platform before, there are plenty of eCommerce tools that offer user-friendly templates and user support. If you’re just starting out, simplicity may be the key to success.
How to become an eCommerce professional
If you want to become an expert in the lifecycle of an online business, our new e-Commerce Diploma Program will give you the skills you need!
In our program, you’ll learn how to:
- Understand and manage e-commerce projects from conception to business planning and the final implementation
- Develop business strategies and set KPIs
- Enhance User Experience Design (UX) on digital platforms
- Apply e-commerce marketing strategies
- Use digital analytics to improve marketing performance
This program is available at our Winnipeg and Online campuses. Start your journey to an engaging career in the e-commerce field and apply today.
To keep students safe while continuing their education, we’ve introduced the Virtual Classroom. Students use our online platform Brightspace to tune into course lectures, submit assignments and communicate with peers and instructors. If you have any questions about virtual learning, reach out to our Student Admissions Advisors.